United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Screening of the Complaint
John Sims was formerly incarcerated at the New Castle
Correctional Facility (New Castle). Because the plaintiff is
currently a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(c), the Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. Pursuant to § 1915A(b), the Court must
dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. In determining
whether the complaint states a claim, the Court applies the
same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017). To survive
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro
se complaints such as that filed by the plaintiff are
construed liberally and held to “a less stringent
standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Cesal, 851 F.3d at 720.
complaint filed on March 14, 2019, names as defendants
Wexford Health and sixteen nurses who worked at New Castle.
Mr. Sims names the defendants in their individual and
official capacities. For relief, Mr. Sims seeks compensatory
Sims alleges that he asked each of the defendant nurses for
medical care during the period of February 18, 2018, through
February 24, 2018. He was on suicide watch during most of
this time. Dkt. 1 at 8. He alleges that he requested his high
blood pressure medication, reported that his blood pressure
was high, and that he was experiencing chest pain. The
defendant nurses refused to provide treatment or to submit
his health care request forms. He alleges that he thereafter
had a mini stroke. In September 2018, after he had the mini
stroke, he was put back on some type of high blood pressure
only allegation against Wexford Health is a conclusion that
it “is legally responsible for” his having a mini
stroke. Dkt. 1 at 4. Wexford Health is identified as the
company that hires nurses to work at New Castle. Wexford is
treated as a government entity for purposes of Section 1983
claims. See Jackson v. Illinois Medi-Car, Inc., 300
F.3d 760, 766 fn.6 (7th Cir. 2002); but see Shields v.
Illinois Department of Correction, 746 F.3d 782, 790
(7th Cir. 2014) (finding “substantial grounds to
question the extension of the Monell holding for
municipalities to private corporations”). “The
central question is always whether an official policy,
however, expressed … caused the constitutional
deprivation.” Glisson v. Indiana Department of
Correction, et al., 849 F.3d 372, 379 (7th Cir. 2017)
(holding also that the failure to make policy itself may be
actionable conduct); see also Johnson v. Dossey, 515
F.3d 778, 782 (7th Cir. 2008). Mr. Sims does not allege any
facts that suggest that a constitutional deprivation was
caused by an express policy or custom of Wexford Health.
Therefore, the claim against Wexford Health is
dismissed for failure to state a claim a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
official capacity claims against the nurse defendants are
dismissed as unnecessary
and for failure to state a claim a claim upon which
relief can be granted because there is no claim for
deliberate indifference Eighth Amendment damages claims
shall proceed against the sixteen nurse
defendants in their individual capacities.
are the claims the Court discerns in the complaint. If Mr.
Sims believes that additional claims were alleged in the
complaint but not identified by the Court, he shall have